November 23, 2009

Student Expelled for Unloaded Shotguns in Truck

WILLOWS, Calif. -- The Willows Unified School District board of trustees has expelled a 16-year-old for having unloaded shotguns in his pickup parked just off the Willows High School campus.

The board voted 4-0 Thursday to expel junior Gary Tudesko after the weapons were discovered via scent-sniffing dogs on Oct. 26. Board Vice President Alex Parisio abstained from the discussion and vote because he is related to Tudesko's family.

Expulsion hearings are normally held in closed sessions, but affected students and their parents can request a public hearing.

Susan Parisio defended her son during the 105-minute public hearing at Willows Civic Center. She acknowledged that Tudesko was lazy for not storing the shotguns at home after a morning of bird hunting, but she questioned the district's ability to enforce its policies off Willows High School property.

"My son was not even parked on school property," Parisio said.

Willows High Principal Mort Geivett and other district officials did not appear to dispute that the parking space was off school property, but they cited several justifications. One of them was the legal doctrine of in loco parentis — where school officials may act in place of a parent for school functions.

Geivett said the school was responsible for students traveling to and from school as well as during lunch. He said he believed that students should not possess weapons within 1,000 feet of campus.

Geivett said he believed off-campus parking around the school was under the school's jurisdiction, in part because it is primarily used by students. "I'm erring on the safe side of protecting staff and kids," he said.

The incident began on Oct. 26 when scent-sniffing dogs detected something in a pickup on the street north of the tennis courts on West Willow Street. A Willows police officer did a search of the license plate and traced the pickup to Tudesko.

Tudesko came out to the vehicle and said there were two shotguns and shells in the pickup. He opened his vehicle for a search, which revealed the guns on the rear seat as well as a knife with a 3-inch blade. The police held the weapons and the school suspended Tudesko for five days, which was later extended indefinitely until Thursday's hearing.

Geivett said the Education Code requires the school pursue expulsion, when a student is in possession of a firearm, knife or explosive without written permission from the school. He said he was concerned for the safety of students and staff.

"Gary should've known better than to come to campus with guns in his truck," Geivett said.











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Comments (8)

BTW, why spend money on attorneys and law suits when a simple apology by the board would suffice. Mr. Tudesko agrees to keep his guns at home and the board agrees to get off his six. Mr. Tudesko gets to continue his education (albeit limited in it's scope if you take a close look at the school board) and things go back to normal. No headlines, no head butting,or name calling: just another day at school.Cheap Pelosi like that is what makes kids go Rambo in the first place!!!! To those 4 votes going YAY: Are you educators or wardens?

Posted by: Sharps | November 27, 2009 8:32 PM    Report this comment

Here we go again.Can everyone get together and whisper lowly the word CALIFORNIA? WHAT THE HELL DO YOU EXPECT? Willows no less. Population what? 1200?. In Loco Parentis stops at the school property line UNLESS it is a school sanctioned off property function like a football game or field trip wherein the student body is under the care and supervision of a school representative at all times.It's one thing for the school reps. to have your six, it's another when they kick you there!
I'd slap the *&^^&*& into Tuesday!

Posted by: Sharps | November 27, 2009 8:00 PM    Report this comment

If I remember right the only time that loco parentis aplies is when the student is on a field trip with the school and that is also when the school is responcable for the students safty off school grounds. Also I know of no laws that give a school the 1000 ft protection rights. if the student was not parked on schoo property then the have no right to inforce any school rules. besides the guns where stored acording to state law, unloaded and locked up. Law suite time.
God Bless America and Our Troops, Past, Present and Future
Keep To My Oath Locked, Loaded and Keeping My Powder Dry

Posted by: bear1 | November 26, 2009 12:15 PM    Report this comment

It never ceases to amaze, amuse, and disappoint me that educational administrators and school boards are so wrapped up in the idea that they are omnipotent policy makers whose authority extends to anything over which they want to get into. As most are aware, following my retirement from 21 years of Army commissioned service as a Lt Col, I then became a public school educator and grade level administrator for 22 years. Thank God I had the experience of an Army career prior to getting into public education. It gave me the pragmatic, practical insight to distinguish the practical, valuable policies from the ludicrous, idiotic, feel-good policies that seem to be so much a part of today's public education scene. As most are also aware, for those 22 years in public education, my students and colleagues were all pretty well protected due to my insistence upon having the necessary firepower close at hand. As the campus director of security, I developed very practical plans for preservation of the security of students and teachers alike. My firearms were always an integral part of those plans. In fact, we even had a duress code whereby the principal would announce, on the public address system, a certain statement that was my cue to obtain the heavy duty firepower that I routinely carried in the trunk of my car. Not many were aware of those features of the campus security plan, but those few who knew were able to impress all of the campus population with a feeling of well thought out security.

Posted by: canovack | November 26, 2009 11:54 AM    Report this comment

This is right up there with the honor student in the ROTC that was expelled because she had drill rifles in her car in terms of stupidity. She was up for an appointment to West Point; I have not heard if that harmed her chances of getting it.

That Nazi principal and the Gauleiters on the School Board need to understand the limits of their power - and they stop at the edge of the school's property. If the kid wasn't parked on school property or even at the edge of it, these fascists have no legal right to search a student's car. They want to search a student's car off school grounds, they need to go to the police and have the police get a search warrant from a judge. I don't see the police in a small town doing that; I see them laughing with contempt at these idiots.

I know that these days school administrators have a hair trigger on the panic button; that they are terrified of being sued by parents. But this kid is no menace. The school district may have its asinine "no tolerance" rules in place, but would it hurt the principal to use his head instead of slavishly obeying the school's rules?

I hope the kid and his family sue the daylights out of the school system and collect a big settlement for this defamation of the kid's character and the mental anguish of being made a pariah by these proto-fascists.

Posted by: Cyrano | November 26, 2009 8:29 AM    Report this comment

Jesus H. Maxwell Christ Almighty, I used to take a 22 rifle to school and store it in my wall locker to go squirrel hunting after school. BUT, I had to have permission from the principal to do so.

Posted by: firstsoldier | November 26, 2009 6:29 AM    Report this comment

"Geivett said he believed off-campus parking around the school was under the school's jurisdiction, in part because it is primarily used by students."

Does the school OWN the property the kid was parked on? No? How much of the town is this Stalinista going to lay claim to?

"I'm erring on the safe side of protecting staff and kids," he said."

Erring is right. This guy needs to have HIS home visited by a large crowd of angry citizens claiming HIS property "for the safety of the children." Then sue his homeless ass off.

"He said he was concerned for the safety of students and staff."

Unless young Tudesko was in the habit of wearing a black trenchcoat, writing English papers about mass murder, or creating artwork with themes about violent death, I'd give him a pass. The kid is a hunter, and hunters are usually the salt of the earth.

"Tudesko came out to the vehicle and said there were two shotguns and shells in the pickup. He opened his vehicle for a search, which revealed the guns on the rear seat as well as a knife with a 3-inch blade."

One of life's most important lessons: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER consent to a search!

Gaviota

Posted by: Lee W | November 23, 2009 5:03 PM    Report this comment

"One of them was the legal doctrine of in loco parentis — where school officials may act in place of a parent for school functions."

"MAY act," and only for school functions.

"Geivett said the school was responsible for students traveling to and from school..."

Responsible? For what? If a student has a MVA on the way to or from school, is the school going to accept liability and pay damages? This has nothing to do with reality. I can just see my boss's face when I tell him that my company is responsible for me during my drive to and from work, and he has to pay my insurance premiums.

"He said he believed that students should not possess weapons within 1,000 feet of campus."

Is that a state law, or just his Napoleonic delusions of grandeur? My local junior and high school campus is surrounded by subdivisions, and there are over 150 homes within 1000 feet of the campus property line. I'd love for him to come to MY door with that line of BS.

Gaviota

Posted by: Lee W | November 23, 2009 5:01 PM    Report this comment

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